The Latest & Greatest from the DBC!

Author Profile: Vaddey Ratner

Each month, we research our authors so that you can learn more about their background and how their stories came to life.



Where she comes from & where she is now: Ratner was born in Cambodia and was five years old when the Khmer Rouge came to power. After four years of a perilous existence, she and her mother escaped to rural Missouri.  They later moved to low-income housing in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  She now splits her time between Southeast Asia and Washington D.C.

Where she studied: Ratner graduated as valedictorian of her high school class.  She studied Southeast Asian history and literature at Cornell University, where she graduated summa cum laude .

You might know her from: Ratner’s first novel, In the Shadow of the Banyan , was “both a critical and commercial hit.”  It was featured on the New York Times bestseller list and nominated for many awards.

When’s she’s not writing: Ratner continues to read and write in Khmer as well as English.  She also shares her love of reading with her daughter, who is an avid reader.

There’s so much more to know: The DBC was lucky enough to interview Ratner and that full interview will be posted on goodreads this weekend, so come back here to check it out!